by Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer
We are currently 12 games into this NBA season and the Philadelphia 76ers are sitting with a 7-5 record. Although this is not the ideal start that everyone was hoping for, there is still no reason to be running to hit the panic button this early in the regular season.
The NBA regular season is a marathon, not a sprint, which is why having a nail-biter against the Cavaliers and a road loss to the Magic in mid-November is not a cause for concern for the new-look Sixers. Getting ready for the playoffs is the main focus of this team, even if it means sacrificing regular-season games they should probably be able to win.
Another reason why it is way too early to panic is this team went through a drastic makeover, which meant that the opening stretch of this season was going to be an experiment trying to figure out how to mesh all of this talent together. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will the Sixers’ potential empire.
There have also been some flukes which have thrown off the 76ers to kick off this season. Joel Embiid was suspended for two games after getting into a fight with Karl-Anthony Towns. Ben Simmons missed some time due to a shoulder injury. The team gave up a 21-point lead to the Nuggets before losing the game off a last-second prayer from Nikola Jokic.
When the Sixers went all in to try and compete for a championship, they put a target on their backs. Now every team gives them their A-game on a nightly basis in an attempt to try and make a statement on a national scale. No night is going to be easy for this team as the league is going to take any chance it can get to knock down the new giants of the NBA. The sooner the 76ers realize this fact, the quicker they will stop having bad losses like the one against the Magic.
Last year this team went through not one but three different makeovers during the regular season and still managed to be one of the top teams in the conference throughout the season. Head coach Brett Brown found a way to get it done multiple times last year and he will figure out how to maximize this team, get them back to a top spot in the conference, and keep them there this season.
The last reason to stay away from that panic button is this team is too talented not to compete for a title. Right now is just the growing pains of figuring out how the team is going to work. We knew it was going to take time to figure out how Embiid and Al Horford were going to coexist on the floor, how Tobias Harris was going to adapt moving to the small forward position, and how this team was going to keep the floor spaced after losing sharpshooter JJ Redick to free agency over the summer.
As many bad losses as the 76ers have had, they have also had some good wins this season. Whether it was opening night where they easily handled the Boston Celtics, who currently sit at the top of the Eastern Conference, or mounting a large comeback on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers which was capped off by a huge three from Furkan Korkmaz.
This team has shown that when at full strength they are a force that should not be messed with. Early season woes happen to good teams all the time, which is why this cold spell is no reason to go running to the panic button. This team is going to put it all together, you just have to trust the process.